Islamabad: Pakistan and the US should grasp the opportunity presented by the reopening of Nato supply routes to “turn a dysfunctional relationship into one that can actually help solve the region’s security problems”, said a leading daily.
An editorial in the Dawn Thursday said that after seven months of obstinacy by both sides, and a year and a half of tensions between the US and Pakistan, the reopening of Nato supply routes “holds in it the promise of a turning point in the relationship”.
Pakistan’s ties with the US had become strained in May last year following the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad town. Last year’s November air attack that left two dozen Pakistani soldier’s dead had prompted Islamabad to block the Nato supply routes.
“…the Pakistani civilian and military leaderships have finally demonstrated a willingness to compromise despite hurt sensitivities and political pressure at home. In return, the US needs to be extremely conscious of Pakistani sovereignty going forward, including when it comes to the unilateral use of drone attacks.
“If both sides grasp the opportunity this moment presents, it could help turn a dysfunctional relationship into one that can actually help solve the region’s security problems,” said the daily.
The editorial suggested that the most significant advantage Pakistan could derive from this moment is to start “reversing the reputation it has developed of being an obstacle to peace in the region”.
It stressed that the lesson from all this should be that “a concern for Pakistani sovereignty has to be balanced with the need to play a constructive, cooperative role in the region”.
It went on to say that besides sorting out lingering issues with America, particularly counterterrorism cooperation, “the task at home now is to rein in any violent right-wing reactions”.
“…But the risk with fostering intolerant forces is that they cannot always be managed. The Taliban, too, have said they will retaliate. It is now the security forces’ responsibility to make sure that truckers, and the communities that they pass through, remain safe.”